#4 – The Not Quite Trillion Dollar Man

Until 2015, Quintin Price was Global Head of BlackRock’s Alpha Strategies business where he was responsible for nearly $1 trillion of assets under management and was a member of the Global Executive Committee, working closely with Larry Fink. Quintin has 30 years of experience in financial markets and is exactly the sort of guest we seek to have on the podcast – a wealth of experience, retired from day to day fund management, and not afraid to speak out, as you will hear.

SUMMARY

In this interview, a rarity for Price, he talks about his snakes and ladders route to success, why doing the work is an integral part of his approach, and how putting clients first is the key to success in any business. Putting yourself in the client’s shoes not only ensures that you are delivering the right product, it also removes any possible temptation for ethical conflict.

INTRODUCTION

Quintin Price was born in Saigon, grew up in India and, for the past twenty years has worked at the very top of the financial services industry. He currently advises a variety of public and private companies. Until 2015, he was Global Head of BlackRock’s Alpha Strategies business where he was responsible for nearly $1 trillion of AUM. Quintin’s wealth of experience at the highest level of the asset management industry and his willingness to speak out made this an insightful episode.

GETTING INTO INVESTING

Quintin did not originally start as an equity analyst but he explains how he made his mark as a sell-side analyst at James Capel, when he exposed the lack of earnings and cash flow at Robert Maxwell’s quoted vehicle.
Source: The Guardian

BLACKROCK

Quintin reached the Global Executive Committee of Blackrock, one of the world’s largest asset managers. Some saw him in the running for the role of Fink’s successor as CEO.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN ASSET MANAGEMENT

To be successful in asset management, you need flair and effort – these are the keys to success and you need a sense of engagement and energy, you need to be deeply interested in what you are doing.

He worked closely with Larry Fink for 10 years. Recently, Blackrock overtook Goldman, Sachs in capitalisation. He was very patient, he upgraded people progressively. But he also worked incredibly hard and his command of the details of my business (45% of Blackrock’s revenues) were greater than mine.

Learn what he thinks of Larry Fink, after watching him for 10 years at close quarters.

WHAT MAKES A GREAT PM?

Talent comes in all sorts of diverse shapes and sizes. Great investors have extraordinary clarity of thought; are not proud about reversing their decisions; and understand what process works for them. Blackrock did not seek to impose a top down style – Quintin believes that everyone has their own approach and that will be what works for them.

HELPING OTHERS

On Reggie Nelson, the council house kid whom Quintin and his wife Elizabeth helped and guided to a job in asset management, who was featured on the BBC – Reggie was just trying to work out “how do I end up in a big house in Kensington?”

ABOUT QUINTIN PRICE

Quintin has had a varied career in finance, notably at Blackrock as a member of the Global Executive Committee, responsible for nearly $1 trillion in assets under management covering all active (fundamental & quantitative) equity strategies globally, as well as fixed income. He began his career as a credit analyst followed by four years in derivatives research & trading and subsequently in equity research. He then joined James Capel & Co. as an analyst, becoming Global Head of Research before moving to asset management in a similar role at Puttnam, moving to Gartmore and then to Blackrock. Quintin is a graduate of Bristol University in Economic & Social History and the author of “Warrants, Options & Convertibles”.

Quintin+Price

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Quintin recommended two books: The Will to Lead by Marvin Bower and Winning by Jack Welch.

HOW STEVE KNOWS THE GUESTS

Quintin’s wife, Elizabeth, used to be a fund manager and was one of Steve’s favourite clients. He visited them on a business trip to Boston – Elizabeth kindly gave him a bed for the night when every hotel room for miles around was booked up for the biggest baseball game of the season – and they have stayed in touch since. It was Elizabeth who invited Reggie in for a cup of tea and changed his life – a wonderful story which Quintin explains in the podcast; a video of Reggie is below. Quintin kindly reviewed Steve’s book, and has always been available to give Steve advice, as has Elizabeth, who is an executive coach. Thank you both!